In conversation with Kristin Kobes Du Mez
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ABOUT WHITE EVANGELICAL RACISM
A tradition focused on grace holds a history shaped by racism.
The American political scene today is poisonously divided, and the vast majority of white evangelicals play a strikingly unified, powerful role in the disunion. These evangelicals raise a starkly consequential question for electoral politics: Why do they claim morality while supporting politicians who act immorally by most Christian measures? In this clear-eyed, hard-hitting chronicle of American religion and politics, Anthea Butler answers that racism is at the core of conservative evangelical activism and power.
Butler reveals how evangelical racism, propelled by the benefits of whiteness, has since the nation's founding played a provocative role in severely fracturing the electorate. During the buildup to the Civil War, white evangelicals used scripture to defend slavery and nurture the Confederacy. During Reconstruction, they used it to deny the vote to newly emancipated blacks. In the twentieth century, they sided with segregationists in avidly opposing movements for racial equality and civil rights. Most recently, evangelicals supported the Tea Party, a Muslim ban, and border policies allowing family separation. White evangelicals today, cloaked in a vision of Christian patriarchy and nationhood, form a staunch voting bloc in support of white leadership. Evangelicalism's racial history festers, splits America, and needs a reckoning now.
ABOUT ANTHEA BUTLER
Anthea Butler is associate professor of religion at the University of Pennsylvania and the author of Women in the Church of God in Christ: Making a Sanctified World. A leading historian and public commentator on religion and politics, Butler has appeared on networks including CNN, BBC, and MSNBC and has published opinion pieces in the New York Times, the Washington Post, and many other media outlets.
ABOUT KRISTIN KOBES DU MEZ
Kristin Kobes Du Mez is Professor of History and Gender Studies at Calvin University and her research focuses on the intersection of gender, religion, and politics. She has written for the Washington Post, NBC News, Religion News Service, Christianity Today, and The Daily Beast, and has been interviewed on NPR, the BBC, and many other outlets. Her most recent book is Jesus and John Wayne: How White Evangelicals Corrupted a Faith and Fractured a Nation.
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